House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wondered this week if Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should consider changing the name of the Democrat Party given her newfound commitment to purging the U.S. Capitol of all things reminiscent of the Confederacy.
“The speaker has the power to do that,” McCarthy said in response to Pelosi moving to remove portraits of four speakers — all Democrats — who served in the Confederacy.
“If the speaker is concerned about that, should she also start talking about changing the name of her party and actually changing the nominee?” McCarthy asked in a reference to Joe Biden (D), who referred to late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), a former KKK member, as a mentor and “dear friend.”
Pelosi made the formal plea for the removal of the portraits in a letter to House Clerk Cheryl Johnson, requesting the “immediate removal of the portraits in the U.S. Capitol of four previous Speakers who served in the Confederacy: Robert Hunter of Virginia (1839-1841), Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849-1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891-1895).”
All of those men were also once members of her Democrat Party– the party that has a long, tumultuous history of defending the institution of slavery and fighting to keep it.
Pelosi on Thursday announced the removal of the portraits in honor of Juneteenth.
“The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday.
“You have to see the remarks that they had made and how oblivious they were to what our founders had in mind in our country. We must lead by example, so we’re glad that that is gone,” she continued:House Speaker Nancy Pelosi / Facebook
The speaker has also called for the removal of Confederate statues in the U.S. Capitol, characterizing them as “monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end.”
Pelosi has yet to address the role her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., played overseeing the dedication of the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument in Baltimore’s Wyman Park while serving as the city’s mayor in 1948, nor the remarks he made during the ceremony.
Today with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions … remain steadfast in our determination to preserve freedom, not only for ourselves, but for other liberty-loving nations who are striving to preserve their national unity as free nations.
He also encouraged Americans to “emulate Jackson’s example and stand like a stone wall against aggression in any form that would seek to destroy the liberty of the world.”